Hugh Laurie’s ‘Chance’ Is Worlds Away From ‘House’

Chance puts star Hugh Laurie into a world of police corruption and draws viewers along for the ride

Hugh Laurie just can’t seem to keep away from the medical field, and that’s not a bad thing. This time, Laurie plays Dr. Eldon Chance on Hulu’s Original Streaming show, Chance. Any comparisons to his previous stint in House end there. The story is based on Kem Nunn’s novel of the same name. Based in San Francisco, Dr. Chance is a neuropsychiatrist who is going through a divorce and the father of a teenaged daughter.

His newest patient is Jaclyn Blackstone (Gretchen Mol). At first, we’re unsure of her issue, but we soon learn. Jaclyn is just one side of her multiple personalities. One day Blackstone ends up in hospital covered in bruises, and her abusive husband, Raymond (Paul Adelstein), might be to blame… Or is he? Speaking last night at the Los Angeles premiere screening, Mol said, “This is what fascinated me about the pilot script. I didn’t have a beat about who she was, or how truthful she was being.”

Dr. Chance pays a visit to Blackstone, and not only does he develop an interest in her, but he also reluctantly finds himself getting sucked into the world of police corruption and mistaken identity. With his personal life in a tangle, we see Chance make choices down a slippery slope. D (Ethan Suplee) is a thug who is prepared to do anything Chance wants but at a price that includes some shady back alley business and late night ventures in the city.

The first episode was directed by Room’s Lenny Abrahamson, and the first few minutes of the opening scene features a graphic incident where a character gets decapitated. Set in San Francisco, the setting pays homage to noir, namely Hitchcock’s Vertigo. There is a mystery, a feeling of suspense and a feeling of danger that Abrahamson captures alongside the stunning visuals of the San Francisco area, giving the show its mystery/thriller vibe. There’s no doubt the shots of the hills and sea serve as a metaphor to the story we’re watching.

Film producer and Chance executive producer Michael London said, “This was a book that, when I first read, it was my kind of thing. It was a  character study that had a lot going on about a character trying to find himself.” He adds, “I loved the idea about a doctor who’d always lived the life of the mind and has to figure out who he is in a dangerous world.”

Not having read the book, I know the stage is set for more mystery and unraveling and I want more. Viewers will be treated to a new episode each week on Hulu. The good news is that Hulu has already renewed the show for a second season.

Photos from the after party and trailer are below.

Chance premieres on Hulu Wednesday, October 19.



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